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· Retired Moderator
16,386 Posts
Hi Larry and welcome. You got part of it alright. I like taking my router out of the table to change bits and usually to make major adjustments although I do have adjustment from above the table top. You can use the router free handed with the plate on too. It helps when you are edge routing as there is only about 40% of the routers base sitting on your work when you do that and it can tip easily.

But one of the other reasons is to keep as much routing cutting height as possible. A table top is usually at least 5/8" thick (at least one I've made was) and some like it 1 1/2" thick. Obviously if you mounted your router directly to the bottom of that table the bit would barely make it to the surface in some cases. Plates are at most 3/8" thick so that's all the cutting height you lose when you attach your router to a plate instead.
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